Bulldogs, Trent Barrett fired, Phil Gold, Manly Sea Eagles

Rugby League icon Phil Gold has made an assessment of Trent Barrett’s turbulent performance as NRL head coach, suggesting that he has twice signed himself up for a toxic job.

Gold said it was not wise for him to compete in the Manley and Canterbury for one reason: the Sea Eagle or the Bulldogs are not in his blood.

The general manager of Canterbury football argued that the nature of the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs would be such that Barrett’s board and members would lack support. Gold was publicly in support of Barrett as the Bulldogs coach, but it is believed that the board and members have lost patience.

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Barrett played most of his 235 first-grade games with the Steelers and Dragons, before spending his last two seasons at Shark.

“He took a job at Manly that I recommended he shouldn’t take. It was a very difficult job at the time and I said, ‘You’re not a Manley boy. They won’t protect you’,” Gold said. On the Nine 100% feet.

“And the same thing with the Bulldogs. When he went to the Bulldogs, I said, ‘You’re not the Bulldog’s son, mate.’ I said, ‘You’re a dragon.’

Why would Gold not train a fighting dog?

The irony of Gold’s remarks is that both of Barrett’s predecessors – Geoff Tuvie of Manly and Dean Pay of Canterbury – were both fired despite the club being great.

Toovey was a weak but fearless halfback for Manley in the 1980s and 1990s, and Pay was a member of the powerful Canterbury Forward Pack of the same era.

Toovey and Pay both fought in the NRL hot seat and were both booted by the club where they became legends.

Regardless, Barrett faces a huge challenge when he takes a manly job and again when he becomes head coach at Canterbury.

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His three-season winning percentage in the Sea Eagles was 39, and his winning percentage was 14 in more than 35 games at the Bulldogs.

Despite Barrett’s formidable record, Gold doesn’t think he got the chance to be the head coach of the NRL.

“I really valued him. I always valued him: as a communicator, as a hard worker,” Gold said.

“That guy – he threw his heart and soul into it. He worked hard every day for what he was trying to do, and he worked hard in his craft. He has great communication skills; we identified it very quickly.”

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